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"Child custody" and "child visitation" have distinct meanings in family law proceedings, whether in a dissolution of marriage action or in a paternity (non-marital parentage) case. Child custody and visitation can be among the more contentious issues for those involved in family law cases, and can have a substantial impact on any subsequent child support order made by the court. Child custody and visitation orders may also be made in the context of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.

Child custody is comprised of two sub-parts: physical custody and legal custody. Legal custody generally relates to parent’s decision making authority over the child, while physical custody typically denotes a parent’s right to control a child’s physical person. "Child visitation" typically refers to the particular parenting plan or schedule for the parents and children—i.e. when the parties will spend time with their children.

An often inevitable part of divorce is the physical separation of the married couple, which usually occurs when one spouse moves out of the family home. Once a parent moves out, there is an immediate issue about where the children will live and when they will visit the other parent. At this crucial time, you would benefit greatly from the knowledgeable and strategic advice of The Law Office of Ian Van Leer. Our firm focuses on your goals, your family’s best interests, and the applicable law to advise and guide you through all child custody and visitation issues.

The impact of a child custody and visitation dispute can be substantial on both the parents and children if mishandled, which is why the advice and counsel of an attorney working for your specific goals is so important. In California, child custody and visitation issues are resolved either by an agreement of the parties or by the court. When parents are unable to agree and a motion is filed, the parents are usually required to attend mediation or child custody recommending counseling, depending on the county. If parents are unable to reach an agreement during mediation or child custody recommending counseling, the issue is then left to the court to decide.

Given the potential for a custody dispute to have a harmful effect on your family, the advice of a knowledgeable and compassionate attorney like Ian Van Leer from the very start can be an invaluable help. The personalized and strategic advice and counseling you receive from The Law Office of Ian Van Leer will guide you toward your goals at every step of the way. Only with such a strategic and personalized approach can you be assured that you are always working towards accomplishing your goals in light of your legal position. From the onset, it is important to consider the relevant law, your overall goals, and the necessary tactful approach to the other party, especially given the potential harm mishandling the issue may have on you and your family. We provide invaluable advice and assistance at all stages of your child custody and visitation case, including in navigating through the initial negotiations, child custody recommending counseling, child custody evaluations, and court hearings.

Contact The Law Office of Ian Van Leer for a consultation at (510) 208-1954 or (415) 906-9486.



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